Catholic Evangelization in Russia

Population: 142,470,272
Percent Below Poverty Line: 11%

In 2000, the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska took a leap of faith and founded a Pro-Life program in Magadan, Russia. They had no idea how to fund the program, but after asking parishioners to help any woman wanting to save her child from abortion, the Lord answered their prayers. The “Mission to Magadan,” has helped over 46 women give birth to 52 children and helped them from the pregnancy throughout the lives of the moms, and the children.

Explore the tabs below to learn about our efforts in Russia.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence to get what they want.”

– St. Teresa of Calcutta

Pro-Life Ministry

The Pro-Life Mission

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Jeremiah 1:5

Fr. Michael runs the program and often has missionaries come to support and minister to the mothers. The Mission to Magadan believes every life is sacred, every life is desired by God, and every life is created for eternity. They now turn to Catholic World Mission to expand their program, and help more women through pregnancy and childrearing.

Three babies laying on their backs

The Movement

The pro-life program helps any pregnant mom. The program operates on: Hope, Help, and Healing.They begin with the simple education of the growth of the child in the womb, giving them hope. There is lots of ignorance about the development of the child before birth. When women learn about the fetal development in the womb their attitudes change. It counters the propaganda that there is only tissue and not a human being growing within her.

The second movement is to help the moms by giving them resources they may not be able to get. The missionaries immediately start them on vitamins and make sure the mom is eating properly so the child will be healthy. The missionaries also help prepare the moms for the birth by providing the necessary clothes, baby food, cribs and strollers so when the mom comes home from the birthing hospital she is completely ready to care for the child. Unfortunately at times the child is born with an illness or malnourished, medicine and special food supplements are provided as well.

In Russia to give birth you need to bring everything that you may need. The pro-life program also provides moms with blankets,pampers, clothes, sheets for the bed, and any extra food needed during the birth. When the child is ready to come home with the mom the missionaries meet them at the birthing hospital with flowers and lots of love.

Thirdly, the pro-life program nurtures healing through Rachel’s Vineyard, a retreat for those who have experienced the trauma and tragedy of abortion. Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe environment for the women to share their pain, and to be counseled by women who have gone through the same thing. Women come out of the retreat with lighter hearts knowing the Lord of Lords loves them through everything.

Nun holding baby
Fr. Michael Holding a baby posing with another gentleman
Sister with Magadan children.

Nativity Inn

Many of the mothers that come to the program are single and young having been abandoned by their boyfriends and even family members who insist on them getting an abortion. The mothers are suddenly in dire need of housing, having nowhere else to go the women come to the program. Fr. Michael saw the need for housing and purchased a small apartment for the moms.

The women call the apartment, “Nativity Inn,” in honor of the Holy Family who had no place to live when Jesus was born. The program provides temporary and emergency housing for moms who are pregnant and for moms and their newborn. It is unfortunate that the women are rejected by their families, and some come from villages far from Magadan because they want to keep their babies. The program has also helped women after the birth return to school and receive an education, to find a permanent work and has assisted in reconciling fathers with the family.

Little girl receiving a stuffed animal through the bear4russia program

Mom’s Meeting

Once a month the Mission to Magadan holds a meeting for pregnant moms and moms who have already given birth. They share their stories and often times friendships develop between the moms. These meetings offer support and encouragement to new moms who find themselves with a new baby and really have no idea how to care for the child. Often they were never mothered themselves so have little experience. During the meetings volunteers offer classes on basic tools of mothering and caring for their child. The classes are provided by experienced moms, doctors and social workers. Holding the meetings also lets them see the children and find out how the children are growing. They monitor weight and child development. During the monthly meetings they also host a lunch. The missionaries have found that sometimes the moms have come hungry. After some time in this ministry they realized that they needed to provide food and especially milk products for the moms and the child once a month. The program is expensive but the moms are promised that for one year the mission will care for the mom and child and often from their experience they found it takes three years for the mom to find work and to begin to live a stable life. The Mission to Magadan is committed to every mom who comes to them and thanks God for her choice to save her child. The mission will stand with her for as long as it takes for her to find a new life because she chooses to give life.

Group photo of kids and adults in Magadan

A New Baby has Hope for A Better Future

We have a new baby in our community, Tamara’s baby, Rad, who was born before Easter in 2015. Tamara’s lovely mom encouraged her to have this child, even when her friends pressured her to have an abortion. Tamara has come to the Church during Christmas celebrations for many years. When she had serious trouble, she came here to the Church. She is only eighteen years old, and her boyfriend ran the moment she got pregnant. We rejoice because baby Rad will have what he needs – lots of love from his mom, his grandmother and his aunt. It is not the perfect picture, there certainly there will be challenges, but there is hope.

You have already helped this baby. You bought baby Rad a stroller, and your generosity has provided strollers for eight other families. A stroller allows mom and baby to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. You also provide food and clothing when needed. Our program works because we give real help, and we follow through with these young families for many years.

Tamara’s mother has enough to help feed her two daughters and her beautiful new grandson, but she cannot help with the extras, like a stroller and clothes for a growing baby.  Thanks to the generous help and many prayers of you, the friends of the Mission to Magadan, we can assist Tamara and young women like her begin their new life as mothers and to help them meet some of the challenges ahead. Praise God!

Nedesda, Mom & Baby Katia

The Mission in Magadan helped five woman in the summer of 2015. The program assists moms, and pregnant women who have been abandoned by their families due to their pregnancy, and those who have no resources to care for a baby on their own. Nadesda is one of those woman. Nadesda is from the Ukraine, she came to Magadan to escape the violence and seek employment with her husband. Sadly, her beautiful brick home in the Ukraine was bombed, and completely destroyed. Russia offered Nadesda and her family hope.  After being told she could not have children she adopted three children, Vera (12), Misha (10), and Sveta (8) and soon after she came to Russia she found out she was pregnant.

Nadesda came to the Mission to Magadan while seven months pregnant. Immediately, the team jumped into action to find a dormitory for her family, and give her vitamins and provide food and clothing for her family.  Nadesda gave birth to a beautiful baby boy by cesarean. The mission provided Nadesda with all the care she needs to support her new baby. The mission gave her a whole range of products to support her new child, and will provide medicine, clothes, and food for at least a year.

Nadesda named her baby Katia, which means pure. Fittingly, Nadesda in Russian means hope.

Lent 2016

Prolife missionaries in Russia this Lent went out to the community to help six families in destitute situations. Each situation is unique and each person is so grateful for the help. The missionaries focus primarily on expecting mothers so they do not seek abortions, but they know that families need support even after the children are grown past infancy.

“We are helping families and young women in a village about 60 kilometers from Magadan. Gatla is a native village with many single mothers and lots of families struggling with supporting their families”

One such family is the family of Andre. He lives with his young son and daughter. He is a third degree handicap, in Russia this means he cannot work. Having a minimal government pension he is unable to provide food and clothing for his family, so the missionaries visit him once a month to provide for the children.

No results found.

Many of the families live in houses with little to no heat, or are in danger of starting a fire. The families are so poor they hang rugs on the walls to keep warm in their shanty homes. The missionaries were able to pay the electric bill for Yula, a 17 year-old girl expecting her first baby, her home in the winter drops below 40 degrees. It is imperative the missionaries take care of mothers during their pregnancy so the babies are brought into safe, warm environments where the mother is in good mental state to care for them.

“We are doing works of mercy, and we are being converted by these works too! Our hearts are changing as we are getting to know the poor.”

This is such a gift to be able to serve the poor this past Lent. The kids of the parish see real poverty and are excited to be part of the mission of mercy. Every third Sunday their parish dedicates as the Sunday of Mercy in remembrance of the third hour when Jesus died on the cross. The parish collects food and clothing, and any money they receive from donors like you they buy staples like sugar, rice, and flour to give away to the poor.

4 women and 3 men standing side by side in Magadan, Russia

Summer 2016 – Missionaries in Magadan

Summer of 2016 brought six missionaries to Magadan, Russia to serve expectant mothers and their children in the “Loving Moms & Kids” program. These young missionaries brought new life into the community; helping to feed them spiritually while their physical needs were assessed and met through the process. They did everything, from playing with the children to hosting a picnic for the moms and parishioners, as well as harvesting the Loving Moms & Kids garden. The Missionaries also participated in the monthly Mom’s Meetings, and collecting food and clothing donations. It is such a joy for the moms and children to have volunteer missionaries joyfully serving them.

  • The first stage in the program will assess the needs of the mother in order to give birth. The program provides for any nutritional needs, and/or medical treatment to ensure a healthy baby is born.
  • The second stage is helping the mothers at the hospital – in Russia you bring your own sheets, garments, food, new birthing clothes, blankets and so much more! The expensive nature of this process can be discouraging and mothers who need medical treatment but cannot afford it instead suffer at home. Thanks to generous donations the program is able to offer the new mothers these necessities as well as any medicine needed for the newborn babies.
  • The final stage is when Loving Moms & Kids volunteers provide transportation from the hospital to their homes (sometimes quite a distance from Magadan, if they come from an outlying village). To ensure the health of the mother and baby, the program also offers food supplements so the moms can breast feed their baby as long as possible, and in the event that is not possible, the program provides infant formula. Often mothers also need a stroller, crib, and clothing for the child.

No one is turned away!

Russian women behind a table of clothing

The program was created in response to the lack of resources available for expectant mothers. It offers financial, spiritual, and material support while creating a large network of support between the mothers and the parish. The Loving Moms & Kids program’s goal is to foster the program long-term in a three stage process for the expectant mothers all over Magadan and surrounding villages!

Your generosity to this mission today will foster change in the community to embrace life.

Will you give so the expectant mothers in Magadan can give life?

Moms ready to shop through the donations for their children in Russia
Loving moms and kids in Russia

One Baby at a Time

“It is hard to count how many mom and babies we have helped. But officially in our program we have 46 moms now that have given birth to 52 children. We have expanded the program in the last few years to help poor families that have a number of children. We see the need to be available to help those who are open to having children. We realize it is difficult in Russia to have a large family. We think these decisions are heroic and we want to help these families as well. We expanded our pro life work to include two other small centers that are connected to two parish missions one in the village of Ola (46 kilometers from Magadan) and the offer in the village of Sokol (56 kilometers from Magadan). Our philosophy is we save one child at a time and it is enough. One life and one more mom saved from pain of abortion. We are pro life, prochild  and pro mom.”

–Testimony and insights shared by Rebekah Allen, a volunteer for the Mission to Magadan

We can continue to support the Mission in Magadan with your help. Every donation to Russia goes directly to sustaining the life of the mother and child, and the development of their new family.

Please, will you support expecting families in Russia today?

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